Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees was hit by a New Orleans Saints player in pre-game warmups last week and taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.
It was a scary moment for the Falcons and despite his feeling well enough to coach against the Saints, he was taken to the hospital because it could have been much more serious.
“One of our team doctors knows that I’m on blood thinners,” said Pees. “Because I’m on blood thinners, if there’s any bleeding in the brain it can be very serious. I can lead to a stroke. You could know it’s bleeding; the only way you can do that is through CT scan.”
Luckily for Pees the measures taken were strictly precautionary and he was able to travel home with the Falcons after the game.
Pees has been around football long enough to keep an eye out and avoid catching strays, but this one definitely caught him by surprise.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Pees. “He (Rashid Shaheed) didn’t see it coming. Didn’t mean to do it. Normally I’m out there, I’m very cognizant of punts going on, quarterbacks throwing, guys warming up and stuff, but… didn’t see that one.”
As Pees was getting evaluated he recalls a funny moment while he was down.
“If I was out, it was for a very, very short time,” said Pees. “I remember hitting the ground and just kind of looking up and going ‘what the hell just happened?'”
“The good thing was, the doctor asked me where I was, and as I’m looking up, they print ‘Superdome’ on the top there. So it was good I said ‘OK, Superdome’,” Pees said with a laugh. “The good thing was, I had a good answer for him.”
Pees was in good spirits on Wednesday and is showing no ill-effects of his concussion scare. He will travel with the Falcons to take on the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Pees was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore from 2012 through 2017 and is hoping to get the resources in the offseason to help build a defense in Atlanta reminiscent of his best Ravens defenses.